Where's XML Going?

Kurt Cagle, O'Reilly XML Blog 19 July 2007. As I was thinking about things to write for this particular column, this realization about age began to sink in about the standard that I've spent the last decade writing about. A decade is a long time in computer circles, especially when you figure that there's only been five or six of them in the whole history of computing. XML has gone from being a 'standard' that perhaps a couple dozen people worldwide knew about to a pervasive technology that is so well entrenched that many people don't really even think much about it any more. We argue about the XMLification of word processing and spreadsheet programs, we debate whether Atom or RSS 2.0 will predominate, we shake our heads at the whole notion of web services and how the dominant web services protocol was designed largely by bloggers to let people know about their websites.


Cum mortuis in lingua mortua

In this post, I will look at the history of Vector Markup Language (VML), how it lost out to the W3C's SVG back in the 1990's, but has come back from the dead, showing up in the draft Ecma Office Open XML (OOXML) specification. I offer some opinions on why this is a bad thing.

Web3D Consortium Delivers X3D Conformance Tests for Reliable and Robust 3D Visualization

The Web3D Consortium today announced the X3D Conformance Testing Program for the X3D Interchange Profile. The Conformance Testing Program is intended to promote consistent and reliable implementations of the X3D specification by many vendors across multiple platforms. This consistency will help drive rapid evaluation, deployment and acceptance of the X3D standard for real-time interactive 3D visualization. The X3D Conformance Suite uses a diverse set of 3D rendering and behavior examples to verify and validate that hardware and/or software faithfully execute the X3D interchange profile. The Suite consists of 120 tests covering 12 components ranging from networking and rendering to animation and navigation. In order for a product to claim X3D conformance and use the X3D trademark, it must correctly and fully implement at least 95% of the discretionary tests, and 100% of all mandatory tests. This level of rigor will ensure developers and consumers can depend on the integrity and robustness of products featuring the X3D trademark -- X3D content will render as expected and that it will render the same way on any X3D conformant product on any device (e.g. desktop PC, digital set top TV box, mobile phone) using any operating system.

XML Compression and its Role in SOA Performance

SOA infrastructure relies heavily on XML to be the lingua franca, and effective SOA performance management requires efficient ways of handling XML. XML compression techniques can go a long way in handling the SOA performance challenge. Needless to say, specific application needs are very decisive in choosing a compression technique from the myriad of techniques mentioned in this article.


XML Content Management: Where to Start?

I want to talk about XML content management. I have spent a good part of my career trying to use, design, implement, and otherwise bend content management systems of various types to my will. It has not, for the most part, been fun or pretty. I've also watched a number of clients dig themselves into very deep holes using various tools that I knew were at best suboptimal, if not downright counterproductive. I've thought very deeply over the years about how to manage systems of hyperdocuments through complex development cycles and I (with my collegues) implemented a system that in fact did what we felt a system needed to do in the way we thought it should do it, only to have that software put on a shelf and tied up in intractable IP webs as a side effect of the sale by DataChannel of ISOGEN to Innodata. Doh.

Efficient XML Interchange Measurements Note

The Efficient XML Interchange Working Group has released the First Public Working Draft of the Efficient XML Interchange Measurements Note. An analysis of the expected performance characteristics of a potential Efficient XML Interchange (EXI) encoding format, the draft covers the "compactness" and "processing efficiency" properties and outlines plans for future updates.

Needed: Terrorist Target Markup Language

The Office of Inspector General for the US Department of Homeland Security has just issued a scathing criticism of the National Asset Database.... But suppose that the DHS had encoded these narrative specifications in an XML vocabulary called "Terrorist Target Markup Language" and required all asset submissions to conform to it. TTML would have made it possible to detect most of these problems immediately when they were submitted, and the standard organization and format of the data would have enabled additional data mining to detect anomalous information.

Namespaces, Tables, and Schemas, Oh My

Eliot Kimber asks: "what's the best way to enable recognition of standard XML types that are intended to contain arbitrary stuff from non-standard namespaces such that the schemas governing the non-standard stuff can constrain the rules for what goes inside the standard stuff?" His question comes from his attempts to integrate standard table models, in particular the OASIS (nee CALS) table model, into "purpose-built document types that are, per my rule that all document types should be in a namespace, in their own namespace and that whose constraints are formally defined using XSD schemas."

oXygen XML, Schema Editor, XSLT/XQuery Debugger and Profiler

Oxygen is a multi-platform XML Editor, XSLT/XQuery Debugger and Profiler written in Java. It supports XML, XSL, XQUERY, FO, XSD, RNG, RNC,NRL, DTD, Schematron, WSDL and CSS documents. It offers a powerful and intelligent code insight that guides the user to write valid XML content. The code insight can be driven by a DTD, an XML schema, an Relax NG schema or by the structure of a partial edited document. It has FOP and full Unicode support.


Microsoft and Interoperability

Interoperability is all about different software products working together. Microsoft embraces interoperability% - through our products today, with the new generation of XML-enabled software, through technology and IP licensing, and in our partnerships with companies that are dedicated to helping software products work together.


Dynamic HTML and XML: The XMLHttpRequest Object

Good introduction to using XMLHttpRequest.


Develop effective DTDs and XML Schema documents for you XML using structural design patterns.

A certification primer for XML and related technologies

Why and how to obtain XML and related technologies certification


A news site for XML developers, by and for the XML community.

XML Globe

Site containing information, forum, faqs, and code samples for xml and related technology


PHP XML Classes

PHP XML Classes is a project grouping several PHP classes for XML processing. Classes are designed to add new functionality to PHP or to provide an abstraction layer for existing funcionality.

XML - what for?

While many focus on the Web and WAP server tasks of turning XML data into HTML and WML documents, there are other applications of XML which perhaps deserve even more attantion: Compound documents; Metadata; Database access; and Inter-application data exchange.

XML 101



XML Pitstop

Provides a central location for everything that a developer needs to know about XML. Examples with Source Code, Tutorials, tools, resources, books and more.

RAX: An XML Database API

Neither SAX nor DOM are well-suited to processing database-generated XML. RAX is a record-oriented API to XML data that reduces the overhead and complexity of handling XML generated from databases.


Cocoon is a 100% pure Java publishing framework that relies on new W3C technologies (such as DOM, XML, and XSL) to provide web content.

Why XML?

Simon St.Laurent, one of the top XML-evangelists, argues that XML offers its users many advantages, including: Simplicity, Extensibility, Interoperability, Openness, and A core of experienced professionals.

Lisa Rein

Fighting for truth... justice... a universal syntax...and a universal semantic infrastructure.

Standards group to develop XML schemas

A major Web standards group has commenced work on a more powerful way of interpreting XML documents.

Doing It With XML

How can you get started with XML now? How can you go from an XML document instance to a DTD? How can you view the results? How can Internet Explorer 5 and other free or inexpensive tools help? How can you edit the XML in a way that guarantees it will match the DTD? How can you use CSS or XSL to control both the presentation and processing of your XML?

XML: It's Not Your Father's HTML

HTML is about the display of content, XML is about creating, sharing and processing information. By Dr. Bruce Sharpe of Softquad Software gives an overview of XML, the "roll your own tags" language.

Human Resources Markup Language

A new standard for data exchange in the domain of HR.

XML Basics from Project Cool

Project Cool teaches people - primarily web designers and developers - not programmers, how to build web pages. Now they've gone into XML. Cool!

Preparing for XML

The idea of purely logical markup and separating content from presentation may sound simple and promising---until you ask yourself, what to do with the huge pile of existing HTML material? Can it be painlessly adopted to XML syntax and, more importantly, to XML ideology? Read on for some practical answers to these questions...

W3C mulls XML spec

Article about as the Document Content Description for XML proposal, which outlines how authors of XML-based languages define and structure the tags within their documents. DCD, if adopted, would supersede the current method for describing XML documents, which is known as the DTD, or document type definition.

Document Content Description for XML

Submission to the World Wide Web Consortium, 31-July-1998 by Textuality, Microsoft and IBM. A proposal for a structural schema facility, Document Content Description (DCD), for specifying rules covering the structure and content of XML documents. The DCD proposal incorporates a subset of the XML-Data Submission [XML-Data] and expresses it in a way which is consistent with the ongoing W3C RDF (Resource Description Framework) [RDF] effort; in particular, DCD is an RDF vocabulary. DCD is intended to define document constraints in an XML syntax; these constraints may be used in the same fashion as traditional XML DTDs. DCD also provides additional properties, such as basic datatypes.

Action Sheets: A Modular Way of Defining Behavior for XML and HTML

World Wide Web Consortium Note 19-June-1998 on Netscape's new submission to W3C. Action sheets provide a mechanism for separation of event-based behavior from the structure of HTML and XML documents. This is similar to the way in which style sheets provide a separation between visual presentation properties and document structure. This concept allows a document author to introduce script-based event handling into an XML document, without modifying the document's DTD. It also allows for the packaging of reusable actions that can be applied to multiple HTML or XML documents. While action sheets share concepts and mechanism with style sheets, they differ by defining interaction rather than presentation. This document defines both the general concept of action systems and a concrete action sheet language.

Hints of XML Future in Forthcoming Browsers

With the release of a developer edition of Microsoft's Internet Explorer 5.0, and the imminent release of a beta of Netscape's Navigator 4.5, it's time to check how each company is living up to its pledge to support W3C recommendations when it comes to XML.

XML Gets Into Action (Sheets)

The forthcoming browsers from Microsoft and Netscape are the first indications of what's going to come in the next year or so to transform XML from today's hyped technology into the basic structural basis for data in the future.

XML: Structuring Data for the Web: An Introduction

This article is geared toward newcomers who have heard the buzz, but don't know what all the fuss is about. The article briefly surveys a number of new Web technologies such as XLL, XSL, RDF, DOM, MathML, SMIL, PGML, and how they relate to XML.

XML gets a boost from powerful allies

A group of major software vendors have proposed that the Open Management Group adopt XML as the standard for exchanging programming data over the Internet.

XML: Mastering Information on the Web

Sun has also learned about XML ...

XML In Mozilla

This document provides an overview of the plans for XML in Mozilla, the next-generation Netscape-browser.


OASIS is a non-profit, international consortium dedicated solely to product-independent document and data interchange. Founded in 1993 as SGML Open, OASIS has expanded to embrace the complete spectrum of structured information processing standards including XML, SGML and HTML.

W3C - Extensible Markup Language

- W3C's XML page has information on Events/Specs, Working Groups, Forums, Bookmarks, Software.



Meet Xavier McLipps ... at THE XML-site.

XML Files: The Column

Many interesting XML-articles. Metadata, RDF, XSL and more.

The Simple API for XML

SAX is a common, event-based API for parsing XML documents. SAX fills the same role for XML that the JDBC fills for SQL: with SAX, a Java application can work with any XML parser, as long as the parser has a SAX 1.0 driver available. A collaborative project of the members of the XML-DEV discussion group, SAX was released May 12 1998.


Cafe con Leche XML News and Resources

Cafe con Leche is designed to provide more or less daily news updates from and for the XML community.


Robin Cover's XML page

Extensive coverage of all things XML.

XML: What Every Webmaster Should Know.

Interview with Peter Flynn, who is an expert on SGML and co-author of the XML FAQ.